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‘Patience is over’

WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Donald Trump declared that the US had run out of patience with North Korea over its nuclear drive on Friday as he welcomed South Korea’s new leader Moon Jae-In to talks at the White House.

While Moon has been arguing for greater engagement with Pyongyang as the best way to put the brakes on its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, Trump made clear that he was in no mood to pursue diplomacy with a regime he accused of having no respect for human life.

And while Moon announced that Trump had accepted an offer to visit Seoul later this year, the leaders failed to map out any kind of joint strategy on how best to deal with the threat posed by the North Korean leadership.

“Together, we are facing the threat of the reckless and brutal regime in North Korea. The nuclear and ballistic missile programs of that regime require a determined response,” said Trump.

“The North Korean dictatorship has no regard for the safety and security of its people, for its neighbors and has no respect for human life.”

The Trump administration has been growing increasingly exasperated with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s regime which has staged a barrage of missile tests in recent months.

There was also deep anger in the United States after Otto Warmbier, an American student who was detained in North Korea on a tourist trip around 18 months ago, was returned home in a coma earlier this month. He died several days later.

Trump had been pinning his hopes on China – North Korea’s main diplomatic ally – to bring pressure to bear on Pyongyang but declared last week that their efforts had failed.

“The era of strategic patience with the North Korean regime has failed, many years it has failed. Frankly, that patience is over,” Trump said at a press briefing in the Rose Garden.

And while he avoided criticizing his guest’s approach, Trump made clear he was in no mood to enter dialogue with North Korea but rather saw sanctions as the best way to proceed.

“The United States calls on other regional powers and all responsible nations to join us in implementing sanctions and demanding that the North Korean regime choose a better path and do it quickly and a different future for its long suffering people,” he said.

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